Aesthetic Concrete Barrier and Bridge Rail Designs

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TTI researchers developed design guidelines for aesthetic safety shape (New Jersey and F-shape profile) concrete barriers. In Phase I, the research team identified the features and methods that contribute to the aesthetics of longitudinal traffic barriers and the aesthetic experience provided by the roadway. The research team conducted a literature review, surveyed U.S. and foreign sources for examples of aesthetic longitudinal traffic barriers, and reviewed existing test results and ongoing research to assess the crashworthiness of the aesthetic concrete barriers and see-through bridge rails. In Phase II, the research team conducted a finite element simulation pilot study, performed model validation, and developed a surrogate measure of occupant compartment deformation. Further finite element simulations were performed to develop preliminary design guidelines in terms of asperity depth, width, and angle of inclination. Based on their preliminary guidelines, a crash test plan was developed, in which the outcome of one test determined the configuration evaluated in a subsequent test. Results of the crash tests performed were used in conjunction with the preliminary guidelines developed through simulation to develop final design guidelines for aesthetic treatment of safety shape concrete barriers.